tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 13, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
facebook.com/arimelber. and you can e-mail me at email@example.com. i'll be guest cohosting again tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern. see you then if you tune in. "hardball" starts right now. >> i'm an oil man! let's play "hardball"! good morning. i'm chris matthews in washington. start with the appointment of ceo rex tillerson to the position of secretary of state. how much trouble will this cause? will republican senators agree to having as our country tease top foreign policy officer a man so cozy with vladimir putin, will they? speaking of cozy, "the new york times" reporting tonight that a moscow hacker calling itself cozy bear, you know, the russian bear, has been hacking into the democratic national committee
for months, it's been joined in the hacking, going back to september of last year, until the u.s. presidential election in the direction of donald trump by fellow hacker fancy bear, the one connected to russian military intelligence. so why didn't the fbi tell the country this was going on last september? and why does donald trump keep denying that russians were doing the hacking? and why didn't the white house blow the whistle on the russian hacking in the first place? cozy bear was, after all, going after the white house, as well. so we begin tonight with the news about secretary of state. after weeks of public auditions that took on the air of reality tv, donald trump has made his pick. in the end, it wasn't rudy giuliani, his loyal defender, or moi mitt romney or general petraeus or john bolton, thank god. the rose ultimately went to rex tillerson. tillerson's ties to vladimir putin have raised alarms among democrats and top republicans. senator marco rubio said today, i have serious concerns about his nomination. senator lindsey graham said, there are many questions which
must be answered. i expect the u.s./russian relationship to be front and center in his confirmation process. and here was senator john mccain yesterday. >> i also, as a hundred of us, have to exercise our best judgment, but when he gets the friendship award from a butcher, frankly, it's an issue that i think needs to be examined. and again, that does not mean she should prejudge mr. tillerson. >> tillerson certainly has his heavyweight supporters. among them, condoleezza rice, who said today he was an excellent choice for secretary of state. he will bring to the post remarkable and broad international experience. bob gates said, i strongly endorse the president-elect's selection of rex tillerson to be the next secretary of state. well, both rice and gates, it should be known, have done consulting work, for money, for exxonmobil. another voice of support for tillerson was the former vice president and former ceo of halliburton, dick cheney. he said, the selection of rex
tillerson to be secretary of state is an inspired choice. i have known rex for many years, both in his role as the chairman and ceo of exxon and as a personal friend. i'm confident he will do a superb job promoting our national interests in dealing with the complex and difficult joyces on the agenda for the next administration. that's dick cheney. i'm joined now by senator rand paul of kentucky, a member of the foreign relations committee. thank god you're on that committee. let me ask you, what does dick cheney push this guy for? he's an oil guy with halliburton. now he's pushing a fellow oil guy. do the neocons have their arms around tillerson already? why does he got the love of cheney, the hawk? >> i hope he didn't get a friendship award from dick cheney. i'm keeping an open mind on tillerson. i want to know what his world view is, and i think it may be overblown. he's made deals in many countries. some award -- i don't know that this mean he's skiing and fishing with putin, some award.
so let's hear at least a little bit about what his world view is. does he believe in intervention ad nauseam in the middle east? does he believe in regime change? nation building? you know, some of the things that i've been encouraged about donald trump, we haven't agreed on some things, but i have been encouraged that he thinks that regime change in the middle east hasn't made us safer or more secure. that he hasn't been for nation building, regime change, and he thinks that -- i honestly believe that he's learned the lesson that the iraq war didn't help us as a country. >> i know who hasn't learned his lesson, that's who he is, essentially, that's john bolton. that guy won't quit. his desire for power and to wie weedel his way into every republican administration is relentless. here he is, john bolton, the man msnbc refers to as being eyed for secretary of state has advocated for bombing iran. here he was last year. this is bolton. >> just as israel twice before has struck nuclear weapons
programs in the hands of hostile states, i'm afraid given the circumstances, that's the only real option open to us now. >> right now or are you saying leading into the future? >> no, i would have done this five or six years ago, because the earlier you strike, the more damage you can do. >> oh, my god, bolton on fox. he was a strong booster of the iraq invasion, still is. in 2002, bolton peddled bad information about that country's weapons program. he said, we are confident that saddam hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and construction facilities in iraq. last month, he continued to support the invasion. he said, i still think the decision to overthrow saddam was correct. it's so prisonprissy, correct. >> i was a member to have george bush's administration. he supported the iraq war. of course i supported the iraq war. i've written on the subject, some people would probably say endlessly, about what the lessons are to be learned from it. i've put it out on the record. i've never hidden my views from
anybody and i absolutely don't back away from them. >> senator paul, isn't it interesting the ones who backed the iraq war, also backed going into libya and syria. and they always have a little pez dispenser. they always have the next war they want us to fight. there's always one -- they push the button and another war comes out. they always want a new war and bolton's classic. your thoughts. will you be able to stop this guy if gets in the door? >> this is why learning the historical lessons are important. this isn't the iraq war from 15 years ago or 14 years ago that we're concerned about. we're concerned about whether or not he learned the lesson from that war. he didn't. he advocated for regime change in libya. turned into chaos and isis actually became strengthened. and i think we're more at risk now from a terrorist attack from libya than we were before the war. he's also advocated for regime change in syria. and as bad a guy as assad is, i don't know that that's helped the us, because i think it actually has created a power vacuum, where isis has filled that vacuum. but even more so, advocating for
regime change in iran is a real problem, because it shows this naive understanding. world that he thinks, oh, everything's going to be great. we're going to drop a few bombs. they'll have a new government there. thomas jefferson will be elected and there'll be no more problems in iran. well, it didn't work out that way in iraq, and i think iran's a bigger, much stronger country than iraq ever was. and i don't think he's learned the any of the lessons of the iraq war and he wants to reinstitute a new war in iran. so, no, i think this person, john bolton, should never have any position in the state department. i will vote no and i hope my vote will be the deciding vote deep him out of the state department. >> of maybe we can put him out on point in the next conflict and he'll change his mind. make him out in front. senator rand, one last thought. do you think there's any possibility that if we do establish a working relationship with vladimir putin in syria, that somehow we can perhaps partition the country, put bashar al assad into an alawite area, just the area where they're very loyal to him, break
up the country, give the sunnis some leadership over there, so they can grab most of the country from isis? in other words, a hopeful -- i don't see anything happening now as long as assad's there. what can we do -- do you think the selection of tillerson and working with putin might work? some deal that gets us to a closer place to peace? >> well, with you know, i think this is a very important question. even with regards to iraq as well. i think iraq has disintegrated into at least two countries, maybe two countries and a civil war region. syria's the same way. and will they ever be put back together? there's a lot of smart people who look at foreign policy and don't see those countries ever being put back together. the kurds are advocating for their own country. joe biden, many years ago, and he and i don't agree on everything, but we did talk about dividing iraq maybe 15 years ago. the turks ruled it from the ottoman empire with different promp provinces. so i think it should be entertained. and i'm supportive of the kurds. they fought the best and the hardest. i'm supportive of them having their own homeland.
they seem to be good allies and friends of ours. and in fact, i think they would actually do more for libera lib us from isis. >> we divided the balkans up and yuk sal yugoslavia up. thank you for coming on tonight. i hope we can stop bolton. this morning, reince priebus defended tillerson against charges he was too close to putin. let's watch reince. >> can somebody who has that friendship plaque in his office be tough on vladimir putin? >> well, rex tillerson's a really tough guy. and you know what, athletes, astronauts, musicians, other americans, canadians, a lot of folks have got than award. but the truth is that having relationships with people is not a bad thing. i don't know how we got to the place where having an actual
functional relationship with someone who might not be a person that we'd first think of to have that relationship with is suddenly a bad thing. >> well, senator chris murphy is a united states senator from connecticut, of course. he's also, most importantly, on the foreign relations committee. i can't think of a better committee to be on right now, senator. >> it's the center of a lot of action right now. >> what's the ratio of republicans to democrats? >> it's a two-vote majority for republicans. so if one republican on that committee votes against woundon these nominees, it's a deadlocked vote. >> so marco rubio is the man on the horse? >> i think everybody will have a lot to say here. and i don't know how these republicans who have been eviscerating president obama for the last two years for being too soft on vladimir putin can turn around and vote for a nominee who is widely advertised as someone who has been an ally of putin and who will be an ally of putin in the department of state. i don't know how you do that pivot on that committee. so i would be surprised if
lindsey graham and john mccain and marco rubio vote for tillerson, because they have been really consistent in their belief that the worst thing the trump administration could do is turn to this new fictional alliance that they believe is going to happen with the russians. ultimately the russians -- >> i'm more hopeful than you. you know this better than i do. who controls u.s. foreign policy region by region? i believe it's the national security council. the experts on the national security council meet with the president, in this case, it will be trump, and tell him or her every day what's going on and that's what guides our policy. the ambassadors carry out the policy. the regional assistant secretaries carry it out. but u.s. foreign policy is set on the national security council. is that true or could it conceivably be set in the state department? >> i think that's true in every department. it's controlled within the white house. and i don't know what trump's structure is going to look like. we have largely outsourced
foreign policy away from the department of state to the department of defense. whether that continues under trump, i can't tell. >> what's this balancing act. tillerson, is it going to be a hawk versus dove thing there. they're all excited? >> the fact that you see condoleezza rice and bob gates wrapping their arms or dick cheney wrapping their arms around tillerson. they're hawks. you suggest that this guy may be more in their camp. you know that mattis views the world -- >> can i ask you a question? do you get a lot of push from the neocons, the very hawkish people, in the middle east and other policies. are they pushing for tillerson? because when i see names like condi and names like dick cheney involved, what are they up to? >> i think we have to ask what their views are on issues that have been raised. but it gets these guys -- >> would you vote to block john bolton? >> yeah, john bolton would lead
us back into war. he can't be in the state department. >> love to hear that. thank you. let's go to my expert here, susan page. you just heard from two senators, one a libertarian, one a traditional foreign policy democrat. are we going to have tillerson? it looks like he's going to get through. i don't think bolton will get through. >> even rand paul, who's been a critic on russia policy, did not signal he was going to oppose tillerson. you can't judge him just by accepting that declaration, that order of friendship from putin. but pretty hard line from both these senators on john bolton. that could well be a nomination that has more trouble. you know, democrats may be in a position to make a case against a few and maybe bolton will be the case study. >> it devolves down to someone at the lower level. what is trump? is he the dove who ran against the iraq war and said it was a stupid war over and over and over again? even though he had back then not
quite been against it? is he that guy now? why is he playing footsie with the neocons. >> not sure donald trump has traditional ideological -- >> is he going to be loyal to those who voted for him? >> i think he has an attention span that's focused on a lot of different things, not in depth on anything in particular. i think mike pence is coming out to be the most powerful vice president since cheney during bush's first term. so it's a different -- i think it's a different sort of foreign policy than we've seen, certainly, in the last few presidents. >> here's what i don't get. senator, it seems to me that one interesting thing is, you can pick an agent for foreign minister or secretary of state, someone who's a staffer type, who will do what you tell them and you're in constant phone contact with them and have them back all the time or pick a heavyweight. it seems with tillerson he's paychecked a viceroy, like president obama picked hillary clinton, a real partner. >> but doing oil deals in the
middle east is not the same thing as trying to bring peace between the israelis and palestinians. >> we're not going to do that in many administration. >> but i think what's dangerous to me, this is the first president we've ever had with no government experience that's picked a secretary of state who will be the first with no diplomat or government experience. and learning on the job, both at the executive and at the secretary of state's office, dangerous at this moment in time. >> why are we moving the embassy to jerusalem at a time where the whole embassy could grow up? why do we something that's right in the face of the palestinians, the jordanians, the saudis, the egyptians. the one thing they say is leave the hopeful capital of a palestinian state alone. don't desecrate it by saying it's the capital of israel at this point? why are we doing it? >> up until he made a decision not to -- >> but you don't do it. you say you're going to do it to pander a little bit. fine, that's politics. but you don't actually do it. doesn't trump know this? >> well, he hasn't done it yet.
>> would you fight it? would you fight it? >> i don't think it's the right moment to do it. >> thank you very much. thank you, senator, chris murray. thank you, susan page. coming up, a big bombshell in "the new york times" about the scope aof russia's interference in our election. the fbi knew the russians were behind the hack of the dnc as early as last september, in 2015. so why did it take a year for them to call russia. and how come donald trump keeps denying russia's involvement? just all whys. why didn't we know this? plus, trump's other cabinet today is rick perry for secretary of energy. energy was the department perry couldn't remember. the one he wanted to eliminate, but he couldn't remember the name when he ran for president. trump's giving a cabinet job to someone who wants to get rid of that cabinet department. that will be interesting. and the "hardball" roundtable tonight will be here. they'll tell me some things i don't know about. three of them. i don't know about this
transition team. finally, let me finish with the naming of rex tillerson, and what it could mean to the middle east. this is "hardball," the place for politics. the holidays should bring joy. so why are you still putting up with complicated cash back cards? some cards limit where you earn bonus cash back to places they choose... then they change those places every few months. quicksilver keeps it simple. with quicksilver you always earn unlimited
1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. 'tis the season for simple. what's in your wallet? another cabinet appointment to report from the trump transition. nbc news can report that trump has tapped first-term congressman ryan zinky of montana to be the next secretary of the interior. zinke, a former navy s.e.a.l., was an early supporter of trump's. and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers, it just feels more comfortable for me. be like, boop! it's gone. i like that only i can get into it and that it recognizes my fingerprint. our old tablet couldn't do that. it kind of makes you feel like you're your own person, which is a rare opportunity in my family. (laughter)
welcome back to "hardball." "the new york times" is out about a detailed account of russia's team to interfere in the 2016 election by hurting hillary clinton's chances and tipping the election to donald trump. according to the times article out tomorrow morning, the fbi alerted the democratic national committee back in september of 2015 that, quote, at least one computer system belonging to the dnc had been compromised by
hackers, federal investigators had named the dukes. a cyberespionage team linked to the russian government. well, "the new york times" goes on to report that, quote, the low-key approach of the fbi meant that russian hackers could roam freely through the committee's network for nearly seven months before top dnc officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems. in the meantime, hackers moved on to targets outside the dnc, including mrs. clinton's campaign chairman, john podesta, whose private e-mail account was hacked months later. joining me right now is one of the reporters who broke this huge story for "the times," eric lipton. thanks for coming on today, especially. what i couldn't get -- well, i could get, but it bugged me. i'll just say it bugged me. this i.t. at the dnc got a call from the fbi that they were being hacked and just sort of sat on it. and then the fbi never got in a taxi or whatever and drove over to the dnc. it's only 15, 20 minutes away and told them what was going on. it was so weak, the effort at
communication. i wonder who's responsible, the failure of the dnc kid or whoever it was to bring it to the attention of the chair, or the failure of the fbi to show any earnestness in pursuing the party? >> i think it's a collection of missed opportunities that has real consequences. and i think that clearly, the dnc i.t. guy did not take the threat seriously enough. mostly because when he first gets a telephone call that comes into the front desk and gets passed to him, at first, he doesn't believe that he's actually speaking to an fbi agent. because the fbi agent can't e-mail him, because if he e-mails the i.t. guy, he's going to reveal to the russian hackers that t that the fbi is on to them. so he calls them and the i.t. guys thinks it's some hoax. the fbi guy keeps calling him again and again and again. it goes on for like three months.
so he doesn't necessarily believe him and this drags on for months, unfortunately. >> sh persis this person, this y a political person? a political person would know this is very important. this is hot stuff, that the russians are trying to get into your system? i guess that's the hard part, that someone wouldn't think that it was politically frightening that you're getting, you're getting hacked during the middle of -- the beginning of a presidential campaign. that that wasn't news. >> and there was multiple problems. first of all, this was not a cybersecurity guy, but service essentially like the i.t. help guy. >> why'd they call him? >> and the dnc did not have -- right, the dnc did not have the money to have a proper cybersecurity money or at least hadn't budgeted the money for that. and he was the guy -- he's a consultant. and he's a guy that got the phone call and he handled it, he fielded it. and the other problem was that, i mean, the fbi was not very specific with the information. they didn't give them a great amount of detail that could help them look within their server to find where the hackers were.
and the dnc didn't also have particularly advanced monitoring software that would allow them to detect it. when we spoke with some of the experts who were then hired once they realized they'd been hacked, they realized, why didn't the fbi, essentially just walk over -- i mean, they're a half a mile away -- knock on the door, call debbie wasserman schultz, say, we see a problem here. and it's hard to understand. i mean, we're talking about the dnc, which is helping run the presidential primaries and, you know, is involved in the 2016 campaign in a fundamental way. you would think that the fbi would realize they need to evaluate. >> i would think. evaluate, from the ground up. let me ask you about the white house position. can you tell from your reporting when they got the word that this was going on? that there was real problem here what can going on from the russians of the democrats? because in your piece, you point out that they were trying to hack or did hack into the white house system as well. why didn't they go to war and say publicly, the russians are -- we're putting you on
guard right now, on notice, stop this in its tracks or we're coming at you. why didn't they do that a year ago? >> it was not until the end of april that the dnc confirmed they had this malware in the system and they had been compromised. and it wasn't until june 15th that it became public. they spent six weeks trying to make sure they were out of their system before it became public. the white house appears to have gotten more engaged, starting in the early summer and then began a series of deliberations to decide, what should our response be? should we attribute it publicly to the russians? and if we attribute to it russian, should we take some sort of action to make it clear this was an unacceptable activity? they hesitated to do either of those things. it wasn't until october 7th that they put out a public statement by the intelligence community, you know, blaming the russians. and they waited and waited and waited for a variety reasons, including, they didn't want to be seen as tipping the scale in the election. and they also didn't want to,
you know, produce a retaliatory action by the russians that they feared could escalate things. so the white house was unsure what to do. and so they delayed and it actually quite angered the democrats who inside the dnc were saying, we need the administration to make a public stand, to say, we were attacked, our country was attacked, this is not, you know, a small matter. >> and of course, all the people watching right now would say, that wasn't the problem of comey and the fbi, they had no problem coming out a week and a half before the election with something that hurt hillary clinton badly. eric lipton, fantastic piece, "new york times." you'll get some awards for this. during the 2016 campaign, president-elect was repeatedly reluctant to place blame at the door of the russians for the cyberattack. >> could be russia, could be
china, could be lots of people. it could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay? i notice anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the rn russians -- she doesn't know it's the russians doing the hacking. maybe there is no hacking. from everything i see has no respect for this person -- >> that's because he would rather have a puppet as president of the united states -- >> no puppet. no puppet. you're the puppet. she has no idea if it's russia, china -- >> i'm not quoting myself -- >> hillary, you have no idea. >> do you doubt 17 military and civilian -- >> our country has the no idea. >> a great moment in american history. i'm joined right now by anthony scaramucci. thank you for coming on again this week. what do you make of this fbi story, "the new york times" story today, about the fbi's looking at this hack, going back to september of '15, more than a year ago, the dnc's apparently faulty effort to react to it. the fbi's lack of zest in pursuing it. and the white house's failure to
move on it. and your guy, donald trump's denial that it was, in fact, the case. is he going to keep up that denial after the -- >> look, i -- >> the top floor tomorrow? >> well, with look, i'm with him all day. it's not that he's denying it, he's just waiting for more evidence to come out. listen, we stand alongside of everybody else that thinks that hacking the dnc or hacking any american organization, corporations like sony or the american government, is not something that we want happening. we denounce all hackers out there. i just think, i said this to you last week and i'll say it again today, even john clapper today said that there's some conflicting information that's come out between the cia and the fbi. so -- >> conflicting about whether -- now, just a minute there. we've got cozy bear and we've got fancy bear. we've got fancy bear associated with defense intelligence in russia, we've known about those babies for years. and we know about cozy bear, which apparently was active as long as ago as september of '15. is that true or not?
the question is, is it rtrue or not? does donald trump accept the reporting of "the new york times" on this matter? does he or not? >> i would say we want to wait for more official information. let's say that is true, chris. >> why say it's true if you don't believe it's true. >> i'm trying to make a bigger point to you and your viewers. the bigger point is we absolutely unequivocally denounce the hacking of american organizations and american institutions. >> okay, you know, this is a ploy. anthony, this is a ploy that your candidate -- not you, but your candidate did back when he was saying, we don't know whether barack obama was american born. we don't know whether we're going to get more information. i've got people out looking in hawaii, i've got inspectors coming up with really fascinating stuff. this ploy has been going on. do you or not. does your candidate officially read "the new york times"? will he read this account? >> will be, he reads "the times" every day. he reads all of these papers. some of them he likes, some he doesn't like. >> well, does he believe this account? >> chris, you're not letting me
talk. let's accept that the account is 100% true. we denounce it. we don't want people hacking our institutions. governmental institutions or otherwise. what are you upset with that about? what i just said? what's a ploy? >> it's not upset, it's that he's been showing things like. we could show the tape a hundred times. it could be a 400-pound person lying in bed somewhere. what's with that kind of imag y imagery? why does he say things like, it could be a 400-pound person lying in bed somewhere. what does that mean? >> i think he likes rhetorical flourishes like that because they have a greater dramatic effect on the viewer. i think he's basically trying to tell people, listen, we honestly don't know what is going on. we denounce -- if you think it's true and it is true, chris -- >> i believe it. >> and i know you believe it. i can tell by the way you're interviewing the reporter that you believe it. and it probably is true. and if it is, we've got to put a stop to it. you, me, the american government. we have to come together and solve these issues on behalf of the american people.
if it's happened before, it will happen again and we have to come up with ways through cybertechnology and anti-cyberpiracy to stop it. and the president is meeting with a whole group of technology leaders tomorrow -- or the president-elect, i should say, to discuss this sort of stuff. >> since you're speaking to him, anthony, i wish you would lose the subjunctive and get to the reality here. which is not if, if, if, and say, now that we know, i'm going to say something. i wish trump would say something. >> chris, you and i are writing the same english composition and having the same oral exam. i just said it's a terrible thing if it happened. >> if it happened. >> and you don't like the word "if." and if you're part of the american government or part of the american transition, you want to be very definitive about these things. i don't want to fly off on the handle and say something that may or may not be true. and i know you respect that about me. >> thank you, anthony scaramucci for coming on the program. up next, trump's other cabinet decision is to put rick
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a dry mouth isn't. biotene, for people who suffer from dry mouth symptoms. i'm dara brown. here's what's happening. president obama signed a $6.3 billion 21 sst century cures act earlier. it provides nearly $2 billion for cancer research and $1 billion to fight opioid addiction. ohio governor john kasich has vetoed a bill that would
have banned abortions after a fetal heart beat is detected. however, kasich did sign another measure that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks. and the state department says it cannot confirm reports of a cease-fire in the syrian capital of aleppo. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." naming rick perry as his secretary of energy, president-elect donald trump is choosing someone who said he wants to abolish the very department he's in and onow set. when he was a candidate for president, the department of energy was the one he famously or infamously forgot when he promised sweeping cuts to the federal government. here it goes again, rick. >>ry wii will tell you, it's the agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and what's the third one there? let's see. the third agency of government, i would, i would do away.
the education, the, um, the -- >> commerce. >> commerce and, let's see. i can't. the third one, i can't. sorry. oops. >> well, perry now joins a growing list of appointees that express beliefs that are at odds with the departments they're out to lead. scott pruitt, trump's choice for epa is a global warming skeptic. andrew puzder has argued against raising the minimum wage and championed replacing human labor with machines. bets devos who's set to lead the department of education has fought to deliver tax money to private parochial schools through vouchers rather than public schools. and trump's pick for health and human services, congressman tom price, has made repeated attempts to replace obamacare. i'm joined right now by jay newton small, kresht to "time" magazine. it's been called the anti-government. they're talking about rick perry. he's known, unfortunately, for wearing nice blazers and looking
good, but he does have this problem with "oops." >> and now the department he wants to get rid of, which is far more important, he's now being asked to lead. why would he want to lead a department? i remember reagan named somebody, bill bennett, to run education. but what's the point? >> i think it's a bit of a sabotage from within, right? that's exactly what reagan did. he couldn't get rid of these departments. every president in modern history has promised to get rid of departments of government. and none of them have actually succeeded, because it's such a master bureaucracy. it's so difficult to change washington, change the federal government. the only president who's managed to change the federal government's footprint was george w. bush. after 9/11, he added an agency to the government, right? and so, and so what reagan did, since he couldn't get rid of them, he kind of put in people who changed the culture from within. >> okay, here's the problem. you're a journalist. you know this story. if you pick somebody to run the epa, then the reporters who are the beat reporterses for epa are kind of into environmental and climate issues.
that's why they chose it. so they're going to write for the next year about what's going on at the epa, and the constituents of the epa are environmental groups. wildlife, all kinds of groups, sierra, they're all there pch all the constituency groups and all the journalists who cover the constituency groups and cover that department and its purposes will be out to make life very unpleasant for mr. scott pruitt. so he's creating these nests of trouble for himself. it seems to me. you can argue about vouchers, but it's very hard to put somebody in there who's anti-environmental, in the environmental protection agency. or anti-labor who wants to have machines and robots. >> but all of these things they do, and there's only so much you can do, right? so when you do rule making in any of these agencies, there's a whole sort of very staid process, where you have to introduce the rule, you have to have public hearings and have more public hearings. and once the rule is passed, you can sue it, right? you can bet, there's a ton of environmental lawyers. >> you have to put it in the federal digest for x amount of weeks.
>> you'll see sierra club versus pruitt, like, all of these groups are going to sue over every single change they want to change. >> we're giving them a great forecast of things to come. jay newton small. up next, the "hardball" roundtable on all of trump's moves today. the bombshell report in "the new york times" about the russian hacking which is now on the record, mr. scaramucci. it's part of our world now. we all know. it's up to trump to admit what we all know. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics
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we need to be ready for my name's scott strenfel and r i'm a meteorologist at pg&e. we make sure that our crews as well as our customers are prepared to how weather may impact their energy. so every single day we're monitoring the weather, and when storm events arise our forecast get crews out ahead of the storm to minimize any outages. during storm season we want our customers to be ready and stay safe. learn how you can be prepared at pge.com/beprepared. together, we're building a better california. . welcome back to "hardball." as i said, there's two big stories out tonight. first donald trump picked exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson. love that name, rex, to be the next secretary of state. tillerson's russian ties could cause some problems for his confirmation among republicans, especially among hawks. they don't like russia. tonight, "the new york times" has a bombshell report about the scope of russian hacking.
the fbi knew that russia was hacking the democratic national convention as early as september as last year. hugh hewitt and michael crowley is senior foreign affairs correspondent for politico. heidi, let's talk about tillerson. i never thought about the guy or never heard of him. >> no one has. >> i do think -- i learned one thing that the rockefeller family still has a role in exxon. i forgot about that old relationship. and that he was almost kept from having both titles. ceo and president and all of that. who is this guy? what's he got to do with taking -- he's going to fill the role of jefferson and george schultz? >> he's going to have to answer those questions before congress, because they have some serious questions. and it's not even so much about tillerson. it's about what he represents in terms of potentially monumental shift in terms of our policy, vis-a-vis russia, which has been since world war ii, to create a whole global institutions and
diplomacy, to serve as a bulwark against russian aggression. if you look at what we do know about tillerson, it's that he supports easing those sanctions against ukraine. and this comes at a time, or against russia, in terms of ukraine, and their aggression against ukraine. this comes at a time where we are just at the very beginning of scratching the surface of what this cyberattack on us really looks like and what it really means. and there may be a time where we need somebody who is going to have a stiff, strong policy towards russia depending off ii what we find. >> in north asia that doesn't include korea. so all of a sudden, koreans get vetted, because they say we aren't going to do it. a next thing you know we're in there with everything we got. because we blew it. because the diplomats didn't make it clear, this is what we'll fight for. so what you really want is a gu
guy with the weird haircut, tell him up front, don't play with nuclear weapons on our watch, because we'll find a way of blowing you up, personally. we will get to you and you will wish you hadn't done this. how do we send this -- is this guy capable of that type of diplomacy? >> the answer to that question is yes, but you have donald trump with his twitter account and who knows that he's going to say there. but by all accounts, tillerson is a corporate diplomat, but top flight when it comes to negotiating with foreign governments, doing deals with them, making clear what he means. i don't think anyone is doubting his expertise, his qualifications, his intelligence. i think heidi is exactly right this is going to be a kind of proxy war for donald trump's desire to reshape our relations with russia. so people are really focused on rex tillerson's relationship -- >> does he understand, hugh, i'll get into a fight with you, because i know it's coming. does he understand when you're trying to cut a deal with the saudis and you're trying to deal with the saudis and jordanians
in egypt, you're trying to cut something over there, and then you move the american embassy to jerusalem right in their face. the one thing they've always said, please don't do, because we care about that holy site. don't take sides. >> does he understand this fragile relationship there? >> before he took over russian operations, he controlled yemen operations. >> there's great depth in the operation. but i have never seen him on television. i've never actually heard him. so what i don't know of someone, i look to their references. bob gates, condi race, dick cheney. >> they all work for him. >> i dismiss that. i think the fact that he would stand up and say baker's a patriot. >> but hiring somebody and recommended somebody, and say they're all on the payroll. >> and the very best recommendation i got was from
the dep sec in the obama administration who says he's been dealing with him -- >> who's the dep sec? >> the dep sec of energy said -- >> what's dep sec? >> the deputy secretary. >> aren't you the supreme democrat. >> how do you pivot from overnight from being really since the reagan administration, a business diplomat, who is mostly concerned about profits and about cutting deals, you're very transactional. you have billions of dollars of money tied up in these sanctions in russia, and overnight, all of a sudden, you have a totally different set of -- >> here's how. >> you have 70,000 -- >> let her finish. >> i was just going to say, that have to do with national security interests. and the interests of -- in terms of public policy making, on behalf of our country, versus a company's profit. >> the roundtable is staying with us. up next, these three will tell me something i don't know. and tomorrow, join me for a special discussion with the stars of the new movie "hidden figures." it's the story of three african-american women scientist
who is help launch john glenn into orbit. i'll be joined by actors octavia spencer, taraji p. henson, janelle manae and along with kevin costner and pharrell williams, who composed the film's soundtrack. this is "hardball," the place for politics. world ugly and messy. they are the natural born enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary, and messy and fragile. but under the proper care, they become something beautiful. g new cars. you're smart. you already knew that. but it's also great for finding the perfect used car. you'll see what a fair price is, and you can connect with a truecar certified dealer. now you're even smarter. this is truecar.
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speaker of the house paul ryan. trump, of course, won wisconsin the first time a republican won the state since 19 l84. we'll be right back. [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
enjoy our best offers of the year. we're back with the "hardball" roundtable. heidi, tell me something i don't know. >> we're getting no indications that trump is actually going to divest as the ethics experts are urging him to do, so what does that mean in terms of day one? what's the worst possible scenario here? both in terms of national security and potentially violating the constitution. all of these trump buildings are going to need added security. they immediately become terrorist target, potential terrorism targets. >> why? >> because his name is on the building, and if somebody wants to make a statement that becomes an obvious target, they may need additional security. foreign governments have to provide that security. that becomes a constitutional issue and obviously national security issue. >> trouble, trouble. >> john bolton will be confirmed, rand paul, party of -- >> be confirmed for what?
>> director of national intelligence or deputy -- >> i make a prediction he never will to anything. >> pruitt, attorney general of oklahoma, is not a climate spectic, itspec skeptic. andy puzder got the most blowback. robots. he said that what will happen with if california doesn't change their laws. blowback from anti-immigration hardliners and franchise world, numbers in the tens of thousands will rise up to get him confirmed. all three will be confirmed. >> okay. >> we're focused on rex tillerson's relationship with russia and vladimir putin. his confirmation would be taken as a positive signal for the oil producing states, united arab emirates, saudi arabia, kuwait, countries which had rocky relations with president obama. they see a u.s. tilt toward shia, iran. this guy who's done a lot of business with him -- >> they're seeing a shift toward iran? >> under obama, they are
concerned and tillerson is the signal of friendship and a guy they know and that would be a first step toward repairing those relations which -- >> interesting stuff, michael. thank you. heidi. hugh hewitt. michael crowley. when we return, let me finish with trump watch for this tuesday night. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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i continue to hunt for the pony in that pile of stuff on the barn floor. it's what ronald reagan would say about the boy christmas morning, the optimistic one. here's what could happen with donald trump in the white house and rex tillerson as secretary of state, could find pour way out of the horror in syria, the global danger of isis, could meet the need for strong unifying leadership among sunni ar arabs, the desire for the kurds for a country of their own. the answer, of course, is to remove assad from control of syria, partition his control into an area loyal to him that would allow the sunni arabs to lead the country at large, allow the kurds to make their own way. none of this is possible as long as bashar al assad fights to the death which is unlikely to come his way as long as the russians hold fast to their alliance with him. i'm no middle east expert. i can see the obvious, we, the united states, led by president obama and secretary of state kerry, are in a box, we can't get rid of assad, we can't yind unite the sunni arabs of syria.
we can't rid the land of isis. how do you push isis off the land if you don't have someone to give it to? perhaps russia is the key. perhaps. right now, we don't have a key. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks we s for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> the president-elect specifically said to the russians, hack hillary's e-mails. >> trump tapped exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson for secretary of state. a man who's cozy with vladimir putin. >> when he gets the friendship award from a butcher, frankly, it's an issue that i think needs to be examined. plus, the new energy secretary who wanted to end the department of energy. >> i can't, sorry. oops. then, the president-elect takes his thank-you tour to wisconsin where we spoke with trump voters yesterday. >> because there's so ny